Furniture Rental’s Increasing Role and Benefits in Global Relocations

Furniture Rental – With an increase in international employee relocations, many companies and their employees are renting apartments and homes as a cost-efficient and convenient alternative, especially in today’s challenging economy. In addition, many companies are incorporating furniture and home accessory rental into their relocation policies as a core service offering.

Companies seizing new business opportunities in the global marketplace rely on the necessity to recruit and rapidly deploy employees and project teams. Failed deployments are costly for companies, and few experiences can be more stressful for an employee and family than relocating to a new country. Considering furniture rental as an option in the original home while household goods are shipped to the new location, or renting furniture in the new location for temporary assignments can be a cost-saving alternative for companies and ease the transition for employees and families.

More than 1.5 million workers relocate for their jobs each year, according to the Worldwide Employee Relocation Council (ERC), an industry workforce mobility association. The number of international relocations continues to rise with the expansion of the global enterprise, growing international business relationships and a multi-cultural workforce. Yet, finding and retaining the best employees is more challenging today than ever before, and relocating employees vastly increases the costs and challenges. Demographic trends are working against companies in the “talent war.” Older working populations are shrinking as the baby-boomer generation reaches retirement, and generational attitudes toward work are evolving as well. Attitudes about loyalty and long-term employment with a company have shifted. More employees are willing to change companies when they believe that their company is not taking care of them.

Economic instability and societal changes are driving employee preference to rent rather than purchase a home. The continuing instability in the housing market makes many employees unwilling or unable to relocate as they struggle to sell their homes or secure employment for their spouse. The high cost of housing makes purchasing a house impractical for many young employees, and home ownership inhibits the mobile lifestyle many young employees prefer. In response to these trends, companies are adapting relocation policies to meet these changing needs by expanding services for this upwardly mobile population.

For longer term assignments (6-24 months), unfurnished apartments or rental houses offer employees the ability to select a neighborhood that suits their lifestyle and creates a “home away from home” based upon individual needs and tastes that also best fit their pocketbook. Frequently, coordinating the installation of rental furnishings in advance provides even greater savings.

With unfurnished apartments or houses, companies and employees have more options to select an ideal location. Unfurnished apartments or houses are more cost effective than hotels and, in many cases, than corporate housing or serviced apartments. In addition, they may provide greater privacy, independence and overall convenience, including an often cited benefit of employees being able to cook their meals.

Furniture rental often eases the relocation stress for employees and families in transition, and provides an alternative to the high cost of shipping furniture to support temporary assignments. It can eliminate the need for temporary living, such as hotels, in both the departure or destination location, which eases and accelerates the transition into a new home and location. Families can settle into their new homes right away and employees can immediately be more productive in a new job. Even in the case of longer term temporary assignments, furniture rental can be advantageous compared to the costly shipment of household goods. Furniture rental can supplement a household goods move whereby the transferee can move into their permanent accommodations upon arrival instead of paying for duplicate housing. Settling into the new country will not require two moves and acclimation to the new environment is faster.

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